National Express to axe 300 jobs

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The Independent Online

The jobs axe cut into the rail industry today when a leading firm told union leaders it was shedding more than 300 jobs.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said National Express is to trim over 300 workers from its East Anglia franchise.

Union officials said they had been told the rail operator was closing its call centre in Norwich as part of overall cuts in the workforce.

The rest of the job losses, mainly in administrative staff, will be spread throughout the company, which operates trains across East Anglia and into London.

A total of 314 posts will be cut, including 72 vacancies which will now not be filled, said the TSSA.

General secretary Gerry Doherty said: "We are surprised at the size of the cuts given that National Express only announced three weeks ago that its rail revenues have increased 9 per cent in the past 12 months.

"With pre-tax profits of £90m last year, it looks as though the firm is anticipating a serious downturn in the coming recession.

"This is a bad blow for the Eastern region, which is suffering higher unemployment like all other regions in the country."